I have not called myself a runner for the last quarter of this year. The days meander slowly but the season blusters speedily. The body adapts, the heart softens in some places, hardens in others, and the trees do their job of depleting themselves. I savor the crunch of them when dry, their stickyness in wet.
I like evidence that things matter.
And I like progress. Perhaps I am addicted to it. Maybe I crave that sensation of a forward movement, of being propelled into a better approximation of authenticity.
So when I couldn’t run, both fear (of becoming weak! lazy! immobile! depressed!) and inspiration (to move! to grow! to be present!) tackled me.
When things that once felt good don’t anymore (e.g. that bum leg, that strange relationship) how do you find a new bliss?
I am a firm believer in wise people. There are people in every community that are experts waiting to share their passion and their knowledge. So I hired a personal trainer for a few sessions, putting my wallet behind my values, and sought a helper to navigate me through the scariest part of the gym: the WEIGHT ROOM.
Here’s what I want for Christmas: strength. I am now on a set schedule to lift weights 5 days out of the week, and to be honest, I haven’t really seen much physical change. But I have perceived a mental shift. The loss of my legs reminded me of this core I have, and provided a fresh sense of diversity in how I express myself physically. The slowness of lifting weights, the mind to muscle movement, how you require heavy stretching and RESTING for the muscle to grow….this matters to me.
We need to stretch. We need to rest.
There is a certain rhythm to heavy lifting. You start light, you go until you can’t anymore, then you rest. And wait. Then you start again, only this time a little heavier. You have to listen. You have to breathe. You have to visualize how things are moving in you.
Don’t think this is all wishy-washy, because I do have goals. I’d like to be able to do 15 push ups, bench press my body weight, squat 1.5 my body weight, define my triceps and be ripped enough to complete the tough mudder. And yes…call myself a runner again. I just have some heavy lifting to do in the meantime.